Network 10 head of programming Daniel Monaghan (pictured) is well aware the market has been expecting a new multichannel from the broadcaster. So what has taken so long?
“We have been talking about a fourth channel for some time and have been investigating a number of options pre the change of 10’s ownership and after,” admitted Monaghan to Mediaweek. “Once we saw Viacom and CBS coming together, and seeing the content they both offer, we realised we could access content that would differentiate it from Bold and Peach.
“Looking at the content made us feel like now was exactly the right time to launch. There was content in the kids’ space we didn’t previously have access to and then some edgier content through the Viacom channels.”
Monaghan laughed when asked how much of the pre-launch discussions were taken up with debates about what the name should be. 10 previously had two goes at branding a multichannel after abandoning 10 Boss for 10 Bold. “This isn’t the first rodeo for any of us in the naming stakes,” he noted referring to that previous launch.
“To be honest finding a name it is great fun. Then getting it cleared can be difficult. We knew Shake positions us where we wanted to be. An action, a word, something that is malleable around both kids’ product and the primetime offering. A word like Shake allows us to have a lot of fun with it. All the content on this channel is fun so we needed to reflect that in the naming.”
Monaghan said there was a shortlist of about five names before they settled on Shake. “We then debated which ones worked and we had input from the various creative departments about which ones stood out as logos and brands. After a period of time the name becomes nothing more than the word you have chosen. If you do your job correctly it becomes a brand representing the content.”
Monaghan added there was some thought about naming the dayparts separately. “It was then dismissed when we decided to go for a name that could work for both. While appreciating the content is divided into kids and non-kids, we went for the one name. There are always gear changes on every channel, we are just making ours a little more distinctive with a line in the sand at 6pm.”
While taking all the programming from within ViacomCBS might have economic benefits, Monaghan said they still have to pay for it. “That happens in any group internal transactions. Nothing is ever free. We would never have based the channel on getting the cheapest content deals. Having the access to this content made it appealing.”
The only non-ViacomCBS content is the programming made for 10 that is moving across. Programs like Totally Wild and the C classified dramas. “We have also got BoJack Horseman which is not a ViacomCBS property, but something we had already purchased. The movies also come from various distributors, they won’t be all from Paramount. Some 10 outside product may also have a second run on the new channel.”
Regarding new local content for Shake, Monaghan said: “We don’t have any new commissions planned for launch. I expect we will be receiving some pitches, but we don’t have anything.” 10, like other multichannels, doesn’t commission much for the multichannels. “We don’t commission for Bold, but we run Neighbours on Peach.”
10 will need to be careful not to take away viewers from Peach to Shake, with Monaghan noting the two channels target the same age group – generally under 40s. “In primetime it will target 16-40. The offerings are vastly different though. We are going for light and fluffy on Peach, while on Shake it will be more edgy, loud and indulgent. Our intention is not to steal viewers from Peach, or Bold for that matter.
“Our share predictions are based on stealing viewers from our competitors. Having watched others launch new channels they always seem to start slowly. When you look at how we have gone from ONE into Bold and then Eleven into Peach, Eleven probably started stronger than ONE.
“We have worked hard to have certain programming in key timeslots to get viewers into habits. But it takes a long time to change habits. We are not expecting Shake to explode out of the gate, but it would be lovely if it did.”
While Shake does have some strong kids brands in daytime, not so much in evenings. It’s different at Peach and Bold where Friends and NCIS are anchors.
“Primetime on Shake will see us leveraging brands that are not perhaps yet powerhouses in this market, but they are very strong in their niche categories – things like Catfish and Teen Mum.”